Have you ever looked at your kids and wondered why you had them? Do you find yourself wondering why you got into this or wanting some way out at times?
Whether you’re feeling burned out or want to prevent burnout, this episode is for you. Parental burnout is a very real risk we face as parents, and if you’re experiencing it now (or have ever experienced it), you’re not alone. And if you haven’t experienced it yet…prepare yourself, because it’s inevitable unless you take these precautions.
In this episode, I’m sharing what parental burnout is, why it is important to avoid, and practical steps to take to avoid burning out…here’s what you’ll hear:
[2:27] What is parental burnout?
Burnout is the mismatch between resources (emotional/physical/financial/etc) and projects we have on our plate. In other words the level of support we have compared to the level of responsibility we have. Too much responsibility without enough sense of support will lead to burnout.
Unlike burnout in the workplace we cannot simply leave. Burnout can happen no matter what parenting style you follow or scenario you are in. No one is immune to parental burnout.
Have you ever felt that:
Everyday is a bad day
You’re failing every day
You’re failing your kids everyday
You’re exhausted a lot of the time
You’re always saying how tired you are
There’s a lack of joy or interest
If you think you may need professional help – please seek the help of a professional. If not, you might be burning out.
[8:31] Your warning light is on🚦
If you are running on empty and not recharging your batteries your body will arrange for you to “have” to rest. You’ll feel too foggy to focus or you’ll become ill or injure yourself in some way requiring you to take the rest your body needs.
Don’t wait for your body to force you to take a break. In that state you can feel completely stuck and drained thereby requiring even more effort to get out.
[14:29] One more “B” to add to Attachment Parenting
I think one more “B” needs to be added to the 7 Bs of attachment parenting (for more on that checkout my blog post here). The other “B” to add is Boundaries. If you don’t set up the proper boundaries and don’t keep things in balance you will burn out.
[15:36] Take a Break 🏝
Take a break from your kids. There, I said it. Give yourself permission to take a break from them. Take a vacation, a staycation, a walk, a spa day, a girls evening in, whatever it is you need a break regularly. If you’re worried you can’t take a break because you cannot trust anyone with your kids checkout my podcast episode on that here.
When you are burnt out you can’t really help your kids as effectively as you can when you are at your best. If they were privy to the information you are they would say “Mom, why don’t you take a break, you deserve it and need it. We’ll be fine.”
Yes, you can change your mindset about errands and create a little break during those. But, the break you really need is one focused on rest and recharging.
[19:27] Get Help! (More on this in upcoming episodes!)
Which reason have you used? I can’t afford it. I can’t trust anyone with my kids (we covered that one here). We all need help. It truly does take a village to raise children.
[20:31] Just say NO!
Reduce your responsibilities and commitments. Say no to things and take others that aren’t serving you off your plate.
Do you find saying no difficult? Give them a no sandwich!
- Say yes to the dream/desire
- Say no you cannot do it
- Say yes again to the dream/desire
For example, how to give your friend a nice no sandwich when she asks you to help her move. Say yes to dreams/desires: thank you so much for thinking of me, I normally would love to help you with that and I’m so excited for you that you’re moving. Say no you cannot: unfortunately I’m feeling really overwhelmed with my commitments right now and don’t think I’ll be able to help out. Say yes again to dream/desire: I’m so excited for you and your new place and when I’m back on my feet I would love to help out.
Another way to say no: cut corners. What can you cut out that you don’t need to do anymore or at least do less often? Let your personal email go for awhile. Don’t iron your clothes. Make evites instead of paper invites. Make more simple meals. Look around and ask where can I simplify?
[24:11] Bundle! 💕
Take things you don’t like doing and match them up with things you do like doing. Maybe you don’t love doing the dishes but like doing it more when listening to an amazing podcast. Read a book that YOU love to your kids for bedtime stories (yes you, you can have a choice too). If things aren’t feeling joyful what can you add in as a treat for yourself?
[26:34] Talk to someone
Have a heart to heart with someone. Share with someone who will listen. Just being heard by someone can go a long way to heal whatever is ailing us.
[27:07] Back to basics
Usually when we are down in one area it can snowball into other areas. You start feeling exhausted so you tend to start eating junk foods, etc. How can you choose to snowball it in a more positive way?
You are worth it. Your children are worth it. You deserve to enjoy this season of life and your kids deserve to see a parent who enjoys life and who takes good care of herself. Don’t wait until you burnout. Start taking these steps today!
If nursing happens to be one of the things causing your parental burnout checkout my blog post on Gentle Weaning here.
If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!
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I would love to hear from you! Have you suffered from parental burnout? Are you currently feeling burnt out? What have you done in the past to prevent burnout? Please leave your comments below or over in our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.
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